- Dale Duff Reporting ([email protected])
Five outstanding student-athletes, one coach and one state championship football team make up the Class of 2020 Brewer High School Hall of Fame.
Ronnie Hews (baseball/football), Victor Irwin (wrestling), Leah Jackson (softball/basketball), Steve Tardiff (baseball/football/basketball) and Bob Van Puersem (football/track) make up the list of student-athletes.
Longtime swim coach Kathy Cahill joins the hall after 30 years of coaching.
And, the 1968 Brewer football team will be honored as the first ever Class A state title team.
Induction ceremonies will take place September 26th.
Check out the full bios of the Class of 2020…
Kathleen Cahill was the Head Coach of Swimming & Diving at Brewer High School for three
decades from 1988 to 2018 making her the longest-tenured Head Coach of any sport in school
history. Known for her motivational talks, Cahill has inspired hundreds of athletes to uncover
their potential in the pool and her athletes have achieved remarkable success at the conference,
state and New England level. She was a two-time Maine State Class A Coach of the Year and
the recipient of the prestigious National Outstanding Service Award in Swimming in 2015. Cahill
continues to serve as Meet Director of the PVC Swimming & Diving Championships.
Ronnie Hewes, Class of 1989, was a dominant pitcher and an outstanding quarterback for the
Brewer Witches. Hewes was the 1988 Pine Tree Conference Quarterback of the Year and twice
named to the PVC All-Star Baseball Team selected as Pitcher of the Year. Hewes was
instrumental in Brewer’s Eastern Maine Baseball Championship and State Runner-Up titles in
1988. He was a Class A First Team All-State Pitcher in 1989. Hewes played baseball at
UMaine for four years. As their premier pitcher, Hewes, a tri-captain, helped the Black Bears
capture the North Atlantic Conference Championship in 1993 and a berth at the NCAA Division
1 Regional Playoffs.
Victor Irwin, Class of 2013, is the most decorated wrestler in Brewer history. A two-time Class
A State Wrestling Champion, he amassed 147 wins over his high school career. Irwin was
undefeated his senior year and was ranked 10 th in the nation. He placed 5 th at the 2013 New
England High School Championships and he was the 1 st Maine wrestler to go undefeated (5-0)
in the Maine-Nebraska Friendship Series Wrestling Competition since its inception in the
mid-1980’s. In 2014, Irwin was the National Collegiate Wrestling Association New England
Champion and earned All-American Honors in wrestling at Eastern Maine Community College
where he helped create the wrestling program.
Leah Jackson, Class of 2009, was an elite softball player for the Witches with outstanding
defensive skills as a catcher and shortstop. Jackson was a key player in Brewer winning two
KVAC Championship titles. She was a two-time member of the KVAC All-Conference Softball
First Team as well as a member of the school’s first State Championship Softball Team in 2008.
Jackson played softball and basketball four years for Maine Maritime Academy where she was
named Female Athlete of the Year three times. Jackson was twice named to the All-North
Athletic Conference Softball First Team and she was the 2013 North Athletic Conference
Softball Player of the Year.
Steve Tardiff, Class of 1969, was a three-sport athlete excelling in football, basketball, and
baseball. A talented two-way player, Tardiff was starting quarterback and defensive back on the
undefeated 1968 Class A State Championship Football Team. In 1969, he was the leading
scorer on the basketball team and the top hitter on the baseball team as well as led the team in
stolen bases and RBI’s. Tardiff’s clutch hitting was instrumental in Brewer winning the
Penobscot Valley Conference Championship in 1969. He was the 1969 Brewer High School
Male Athlete of the Year. Tardiff played baseball for four years for the University of Maine.
Bob Van Peursem, Class of 1971, was an exceptional athlete in both track and football. In
track, he was a two-time PVC Champion in the 440 and the 100 yd dash. In 1970, he set a
PVC record in the 440 which stood for 46 years. Van Peursem was the 1971 Class A State
Track Champion in the 440 yd. dash. He’s presently 3rd All-Time Top 20 at Brewer High School
in 440/400. In football, Van Peursem was the starting half-back on the undefeated 1970 Class
A State Championship Football Team and named to the 1970 All-State Second Team. He ran
indoor and outdoor track for four years at UMaine and set the indoor 600 yd. school record.
The 1968 Football team was Brewer High School’s first ever Class “A” State Championship
team. They had the greatest season record in school history at the time with their undefeated
and untied record of 11-0-0. They held the top offensive record in the state scoring 335 points
as well as the state’s top defensive record allowing only 68 points on the year. In 1968, the
Brewer Football Team was the only undefeated Class A team. They were ranked #1 in the
state of Maine, #5 in New England and placed eight players onto the Class A Maine All-State
Football First and Second Squads.